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The Evolution. How to become The Java Man.

3 February 2015 Personal Stories


Java Man was the popular name given to early human fossils discovered on the island of Java in 1891 and 1892 (according to Wikipedia). Nowadays, Java man stands for an IT species that possesses the gene of Java coding.

We were challenged to make some extended research on the genetic code of the Java man, as the aspiring students/ juniors think they have it. Between the 12th of January and the 20th of February 23 young trainees attend the Java Pre-Employment Training, at Fortech’s headquarters, thriving to become Java developers. We couldn’t miss this opportunity to start a research with them, to find out what this entire stir is about and to find out from them why they have chosen Java.

Read some of the testimonials from the trainees:

Andrei, 25 years old, from Timisoara, final year – MS student in Computer Science at the West University of Timisoara says: “ Because it’s challenging, and one needs to keep up with changes! I was very much into “graphical interfaces” and everything started from there. I wanted to move to Cluj and applied to several companies. Fortech recruited, tested, interviewed me and then I was invited to this training. In these 2 weeks I’ve managed to learn a lot. I used to have constant problems with arrays and file reading and I learned how to solve them. It’s been great to consolidate the basics through practical assignments.”  

Ioana, 23 years old Junior Java Developer@Fortech, graduate student of the Babes-Bolyai University – Faculty of Mathematics and IT: “ I’ve coded in Python, C++ and at one point Java seemed more suitable for me. It seems easier, or maybe my mind is set up to work better for Java ;)).”

Cristina, 23 yrs.- graduate student from Cluj-Napoca Technical University- Computer Science “ Mr. Salomie, my university professor, encouraged me to work on several Java projects and now Java it’s a part of me.”

Java is Music to my brain :). Serban, 26 years old, from Cluj-Napoca – guitar player in a very well-known underground music band & Physics graduate “ Initially I’ve started with C++, but got stuck at some point. Java seems more “human” to me, the code “readable”. I just feel more attracted to Java coding. This week, during the training, I’ve got into some interesting stuff like: using Java to access webpages and extract info from them. Brave new world, challenging, don’t you think? But it’s such a great feeling when it works out :)!

What does a philosopher/journalist have in common with Java? Marius, 28 years old, from Drobeta-Turnu-Severin, MS student at Cluj-Napoca Technical University: “I’ve graduated Philosophy, but I came back to my high school love: IT. I’m looking to change my career and become a software developer, that’s the reason why, at this moment, I’m studying informatics and applied programming and sent my CV to several companies from Cluj.  I was focused on Java, but it could have also been HTML, C++ or C#. I’ve received an answer from Fortech, took the junior Java test, followed by an interview. During the technical interview I realized that I wasn’t ready yet, but I was given this chance to upgrade my programming skills through this training, so I grabbed it. Up to this point, I’ve learned about streams, input-output, multithreading, Spark Library, Maven. I think Java programming is fun and it also depends on one’s willingness to continuously study.

We asked Mihai, 22 years old from Sighisoara, a 3rd year student at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca – Faculty of Computer Science why he came to the training. He answered somewhat surprisingly for us: “Well… frankly, I wasn’t much of a dedicated student… This year being my last at the university, I realized that I have to get a job and I sent my résumé to Fortech, got invited to a test and afterwards to an interview. The interviewer, one of Fortech’s project managers, was very sincere and told me that I really needed to study more and my current knowledge doesn’t qualify me for any of the on-going Java projects and he kindly recommended me to participate in this Java training. I hope that, by the end of this training, I’ll accomplish what I want: get a Junior Java Developer job”.

The trainers’ opinion on the genetic code of a Java developer:

Zeze, one of our accomplished Java programmers, coordinator of Java Pre-Employment Training and Adina, trainer & experienced Java Developer@Fortech speak about “motivation”. 
Zeze: “I’m passionate about Java programming and I also love to teach others. Lately, I’ve been working as a project manager, but I love coding too much, to stay away from it for too long. For me it is always relaxing to get back to the technical part. I’ve been teaching at the University for several years. I’m glad that these trainees are dedicated and interested in software programming. They have the basic knowledge and they are easier to work with that my former students, because most of them are already graduates. My recommendation for the young developers is to start from scratch, to master the basics, and to get to the real, more challenging stuff, after that .“  

Adina: “I got involved in this project because I wanted to share my knowledge and to develop my communication and teaching skills. It’s also a challenge to learn how to create a course outline. I was very curious about the discrepancy between the knowledge-level of the trainees and our ideal candidate technical profile.”

What’s the natural evolution from a junior to a Senior Java Developer?  Laurentiu Delcea, trainer & experienced Java Developer@Fortech : “Well, I don’t think that there’s a recipe for that. But I can recommend a few tips and tricks, to think about along the way:

  1. Always pay attention to the code. Being comfortable with code review is a must.
  2. Try to understand what types of libraries you should use. The technologies change but the transition from one to another it’s easier, once you’ve understood the need that created the library, the way it was designed.
  3. Why reinvent the wheel? Steal as much as you can from others, I mean good ideas.
  4. Don’t hide the weak performance of a software solution behind a stronger server.
  5. Intuition comes with experience, allowing you to work more efficiently. Be patient to get this experience.
  6. Get over the mentality that a certain technology is better than the other. Java, as all the other technologies, has its strengths and weaknesses.
  7. A normal step would be to try and develop something on your own and learn from the implementation and promotion process of a software product or a library.
  8. One could have second thoughts about some “promotional” articles ;)… even I have to study more.”

When questioned about the genetic code of the Java developer, the trainees (wannabes) and some of our Senior Java Developers gave answers:


As a conclusion, Java is not necessarily in the genes but in developing a series of skills and hard work, in extended practice: “A developer is someone who does not merely program/code, he/she is involved throughout the software development life cycle, i.e. a developer must be able to analyze a problem, develop a system-efficient solution, then integrate the planning to deliver sound functionality. Java is an object-orientated programming language, which was originally developed by Sun microsystems. When you combine the two, you get a Java Developer. “ 

Cristi, Java technical lead@Fortech

The “researchers”: Ioana Sirbu, Anda Florescu & Marius Achim.

*disclaimer: this article is a pseudo-pamphlet, but still, all the characters mentioned in it are real persons

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